The Indiana Pacers are in some sort of a Cinderella run, with two consecutive upset victories ahead of the rematch against the Phoenix Suns. Will the Pacers keep the good times rolling? Or, will the Suns burn Indiana at home this Sunday?
Catch this game live on Sunday, January 23, at 10 AM, Manila time.
Away: Indiana Pacers (17-29/5-17 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Malcolm Brogdon (questionable)
- SG: Caris LeVert
- SF: Justin Holiday
- PF: Oshae Brissett
- C: Goga Bitadze
The Pacers have been a pleasant surprise during their current West Coast expedition. After losing the first leg of their five-game road trip to the Los Angeles Clippers, the limping Pacers took down the Los Angeles Lakers (111-104) and the Golden State Warriors (121-117 OT). Indiana’s win over the Warriors was a stunner. Without Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Domantas Sabonis, Indiana somehow found a way to upset the Warriors at Chase Center, as rookie Chis Duarte stepped up and showed the way for their team.
The former Oregon Duck scored 27 points, while Goga Bitadze nearly double-doubled with 13 points and nine rebounds in lieu of Sabonis. The Lithuanian big man is unlikely to play Sunday due to an ankle problem he sustained in the Lakers game. That’s also the case with Brogdon, whose constant Achilles issue is making him a fixture on the questionable list. LeVert is also questionable, but it appears he’s got a much better shot at playing this Sunday. He had 20 points and nine assists in Indiana’s 112-94 road loss to Phoenix last Jan. 15th. The Pacers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after a win.
Home: Phoenix Suns (35-9/17-5 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: JaVale McGee
The Suns are functioning like a well-oiled machine, and that’s even with Deandre Ayton on the sidelines of late. They’ve gone undefeated in their last five games a stretch that includes a 109-10 win against the Dallas Mavericks last Friday to finish a five-game road trip unblemished. Now, Phoenix is looking forward to extending that winning streak at home, where it lost to the Miami Heat, 123-100, the last time it played there. Ayton has already been ruled out for the rematch against the Pacers, but the Suns should be able to handle things in the frontcourt, especially if Sabonis won’t play as well for Indiana.
The Pacers are already without Myles Turner, so JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo can feast on the glass. Phoenix out-rebounded Indiana in the first meeting, 51-42. Then there’s the duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker that had just toyed with Dallas’ elite defense. The two can definitely find holes on Indiana’s defense that’s allowing 114.6 points per game this January. The Suns have covered the spread in all of their last four games overall.
Spread: It’s been a fun couple of games for the Pacers, but this is where they will run into a brick wall in the form of Phoenix. Indiana should be commended for beating the Lakers and the Warriors, but none of those teams can come close to the consistency the Suns have been showing lately. The Suns win and cover (-12).
Over/Under: The Pacers’ bad defense will get pounced over and over by Phoenix., Indiana’s scoring the past few games isn’t too shabby as well, but Phoenix won’t let the Pacers have any rhythm. Taking the Under (217.5) for this game.